Public Schools

Minneapolis schools lift mask mandate, change quarantine protocol

Written by Mamie M. Arndt

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Starting Monday, Minneapolis students will no longer have to wear masks at school or on buses, the school district said Thursday as it announced changes to its COVID-19 protocols.

The news came two days after St. Paul’s school board voted 6-1 to change the mask policy for that district, removing the mandate and allowing students and faculty to choose whether or not to wear a face covering in school buildings.

Besides dropping its mask mandate, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will discontinue universal contract tracing, officials said. That means families may not be notified if someone in their student’s class tests positive for COVID-19.

District officials also said that beginning Monday, fully vaccinated students and staff will no longer be required to isolate after COVID-19 exposure and the quarantine time for unvaccinated students and adults in the schools will drop from 10 days to five days.

However, they said, the quarantine period for those who test positive for COVID-19 will remain at 10 days.

“MPS remains committed to maximizing in-person learning, meeting the academic and mental health needs of our students, and providing a safe learning environment for all,” Superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement.

Minneapolis Public Schools officials will continue to meet regularly with the COVID-19 regional support team. The protocol updates come in response to the city’s declining COVID-19 rates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the district news release.

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Mamie M. Arndt